Top 15 Easter Eggs in Video Games of All Time

If you venture far enough from the main path in any video game, you’re likely to discover a reward, whether it’s a collectible or a side quest. Developers often use these hidden areas to include Easter Eggs – inside jokes or references to other games or media that only the most dedicated fans will notice.

Easter Eggs have been around for almost as long as video games themselves, and as they’ve become more common, it’s become harder for them to stand out. However, some are truly exceptional and worth the effort to find. This article showcases the 15 best video game Easter Eggs ever, starting with Adventure’s Secret Credits Easter Egg.

Adventure – Secret Credits

Adventure is often mistakenly credited as the first video game Easter Egg, although that honor actually belongs to Moonlander from 1973. Regardless, Adventure is responsible for inspiring many developers to add secrets to their games. Atari refused to publicize the names of their programmers to prevent them from being recruited by competitors, but Adventure’s developer found a way to include his name in the game. By completing a convoluted series of steps, players could access a secret room with the message “Created by Warren Robinett.” This Easter Egg went undiscovered for over a year until a teenage player stumbled upon it. Atari executives initially wanted to delete the unauthorized code and release a new version of the cartridge, but they eventually decided to embrace Easter Eggs and give credit to developers for their work.

Castlevania: Symphony of the Night – Bonus Track

You may have played Castlevania: Symphony of the Night, as it is widely considered to be one of the greatest games of all time. However, if you don’t have the original PS1 disc, you might not be aware of a special Easter Egg that can’t be replicated in any digital versions of the game.

By inserting the Symphony of the Night PS1 disc into any audio CD player and skipping to the second track, you’ll be treated to a unique message from Alucard and a musical remix that you won’t hear just by playing through the game. This Easter Egg was relatively common during the PS1 era, with a few dozen other games also featuring songs that played when inserted into a CD player. However, Symphony of the Night was one of the first games to do this and is arguably the best example of this type of Easter Egg. While the original PS1 disc has become quite expensive in recent years, it may be worth tracking down just to experience this special feature.

Dead Space – Chapter Names

The best Easter eggs are often the ones that only reveal their true significance later on.

The original Dead Space is still considered a disturbing horror classic, even after the recent release of an excellent remake. One of the game’s most memorable plot twists involves Isaac Clarke’s girlfriend Nicole, who encourages him to uncover the mystery of the spaceship Ishimura throughout the game. However, it is eventually revealed that Nicole had died before the events of the game, and Isaac had been experiencing hallucinations.

See also  Unlocking the Power: Acquiring the Bloodskal Blade in Skyrim

If you paid close attention, you may have already suspected this twist. The titles of each of the game’s 13 chapters contain a hidden message that spells out “Nicole is dead” when you take the first letter of each title. This Easter egg is a clever and subtle nod to the game’s twist, making it one of the most effective and well-executed Easter eggs in video game history.

In 1990, Nintendo Power magazine held a special contest where the winner’s name would be featured in a secret room in the upcoming Zelda game. Chris Houlihan was the lucky winner, and the Zelda team delivered on their promise in a unique and exciting way.

To access the Chris Houlihan room in The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past, there are several methods, but the most reliable one involves using the Pegasus boots and finding a secret passage hole near Hyrule Castle. If done correctly, players will discover a room with 45 blue rupees and a telepathic tile bearing a message from Chris Houlihan himself. The message reads, “My name is Chris Houlihan. This is my top secret room. Keep it between us, OK?” This Easter egg is a great example of how game developers can involve fans and create a sense of excitement and mystery around their games.

Interestingly, even after more than three decades, the true identity of Chris Houlihan mentioned in the game has never been definitively confirmed. There have been various speculations among gamers, including the possibility that he may have passed away or even that he never existed in the first place.

Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 – Play Classic Atari Games

Activision included a surprising Easter Egg in Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 by featuring classic Atari 2600 games on the fan-favorite Nuketown map. Despite not being popular with retro gamers, players who shoot the mannequins’ heads off within 30 seconds will reveal the Activision logo on the nearby TV, unlocking the ability to play Pitfall II, HERO, Kaboom!, and River Raid. Although classic games have appeared as Easter Eggs in other modern titles, the unexpected and complex method used to unlock these games in Black Ops 2 is worth extra recognition.

Star Wars: The Force Unleashed – Jar Jar Binks Frozen in Carbonite

The Star Wars fandom can be divided in many ways, but there’s one thing that most fans can agree on: Jar Jar Binks is one of the franchise’s most hated characters. In a small act of redemption, The Force Unleashed includes an Easter egg that allows players to see Jar Jar frozen in carbonite, just like Han Solo. The trophy room in the Imperial Kashyyk level is where you can find this long-awaited comeuppance.

Unfortunately, The Force Unleashed is no longer considered canon since Disney took over, so this Easter egg is not considered the official fate of Jar Jar. Nonetheless, it provided a brief moment of satisfaction for fans who have longed to see the annoying Gungan get what he deserved.

Doom 2 – John Romero’s Head

In the 1990s, Doom became a popular game due to its many secrets and cheat codes. Its sequel, Doom 2, featured an epic final boss fight against the Icon of Sin. However, the game’s “true final boss” was hidden within that fight.

See also  The Sequel to Hogwarts Legacy: Transforming a Companion Character into the Playable Hero

To access it, players needed to shoot the Icon with a rocket launcher, enter the game’s no-clip cheat code, and then enter the demon’s head. There, they would find a head, which belonged to the game’s designer, John Romero. What made it creepy was that the Romero Head said (backwards), “To win the game, you must kill me, John Romero.” So, players had to shoot the head, which marked the end of the game. It remains one of the most bizarre and meta Easter Eggs of its time.

Borderlands 2 – Creeper Cameo

Borderlands 2 is known for its numerous Easter Eggs and references to other games, but its Minecraft cameo stands out as one of the best.

In the Caustic Caverns area of the game, players can discover dirt cubes that are reminiscent of Minecraft. Breaking them open leads to a hidden cave filled with Minecraft-style creepers as enemies. Additionally, players can unlock Minecraft skins for their characters and weapons. The fact that this crossover was not advertised beforehand adds to the surprise and delight of finding it on your own.

Batman Arkham Asylum – The Arkham City Map

The history of Batman video games is littered with poor titles, making it uncertain whether Arkham Asylum would be a success. Nevertheless, the game turned out to be a hit and spawned a sequel: Arkham City. Rocksteady, the developer behind both games, was so confident in the success of the series that they included an Easter Egg referencing Arkham City in the first game. In the warden’s office, players could find plans for the expansion of Arkham City by blowing up a secret wall. This Easter Egg was so well hidden that players didn’t discover it until months later, and Rocksteady had to point it out when the sequel was already well into development.

Grand Theft Auto V – Thelma & Louise

Grand Theft Auto V boasts numerous hidden Easter Eggs, thanks to its vast open maps. Alongside references to movies and other games, the game features peculiar secrets such as UFO sightings, which captivated the game’s community for an extended period. However, the most elaborate Easter Egg, distinguished by its complexity and the necessary steps to uncover it, is a nod to the iconic 1991 movie Thelma & Louise.

To discover the reference, players must fly a helicopter close to Raton Canyon between 7 and 8 p.m. They will witness a group of police officers pursuing two women driving a convertible. Observing the scene until the car drives off the cliff and meets a fiery end will reveal the Easter Egg. It’s an incredible reference, made even more exceptional by the likelihood that only a few players stumbled upon it organically.

Wave Race: Blue Storm – Sarcastic Announcer

Around the turn of the century, Nintendo developed Wave Race, an impressive jet ski racing series. Despite its enduring popularity, Nintendo has barely acknowledged it in the last two decades, sticking to its typical approach. The game’s regular announcer is your average enthusiastic racing announcer. However, if you input a cheat code into the options menu, his personality undergoes a complete transformation. A complete jerk takes over, making remarks like “You don’t have an inferiority complex. You’re just inferior” during every race.

Surprisingly, this Easter Egg remained undiscovered until 2010, nine years after the game’s release. However, it swiftly became a fan favorite for its originality and for being the kind of thing that Nintendo wouldn’t usually include in one of its games. Perhaps this is why they’re hesitant to create another Wave Race sequel.

See also  Starfield Player Recreates NASA Space Shuttle Inside the Game

Uncharted 3 – The Last of Us Newspaper Article

Naughty Dog made a reference to their upcoming game, The Last of Us, in Uncharted 3, similar to Arkham Asylum’s Easter Egg. However, the former game was not officially announced at the time, leaving the reference a mystery. The Easter Egg is a newspaper with the headline “Scientists still struggling to understand deadly fungus” in the corner of a bar, which is easy to miss if you don’t know what you’re searching for.

Creative Director Neil Druckmann admitted that the Easter Egg was a mistake as The Last of Us was initially scheduled to be revealed months before the release of Uncharted 3. However, the game was announced a month after Uncharted 3’s release, potentially ruining the surprise. Nonetheless, this unintentional mistake resulted in one of the most exceptional Easter Eggs ever.

The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt – Ciri Goes Cyberpunk 

Before the release of Cyberpunk 2077, CD Projekt Red included a clear reference to the game in The Witcher 3. In the main quest, after Geralt finds his dimension-hopping adopted daughter Ciri, he can ask her where she has been. She describes a world where “People there had metal in their heads, waged war from a distance, using things similar to megascopes. And there were no horses, everyone had their flying ships instead.”

While the reference may be somewhat ambiguous, it is commonly viewed as an Easter Egg that implies Ciri had visited Night City in Cyberpunk 2077. Additionally, Cyberpunk 2077 also features several Easter Eggs that reference The Witcher series. However, fans are yet to witness a complete crossover between the two properties.

Hitman 3 – Alien Abduction

The Hitman series boasts a multitude of Easter Eggs, more than any other gaming franchise. Hitman games of the past have included a ghost, Kraken, and even Godzilla, among other surprises. However, one secret exit in Hitman 3’s Berlin level takes the cake.
To access this Easter egg, Agent 47 needs only to snap a photo of some UFO graffiti at the start of the level and complete the mission. But instead of exiting through one of the usual exits, the player must go to the telephone booth by the gas station and dial “1993” to be beamed up. Why 1993? It seems that it’s because it was the year the X-Files premiered. While the exit is fantastic, it’s regrettable that it does not lead to a bonus level onboard the UFO.

Silent Hill 2 – The Dog Ending

Silent Hill 2 is hailed as one of the finest survival horror games that delves into complex themes such as guilt, grief, and mental illness. However, it also features an utterly bizarre ending where it’s revealed that a Shiba Inu was pulling the strings all along.
To unlock this “dog” ending, players must first complete the game’s three other normal endings. Though it takes a considerable amount of time, the reward is worth it for the hilarious ending theme song, complete with barks. It’s rare to see a horror game incorporate humor in such an over-the-top way. Hopefully, the upcoming Silent Hill 2 remake by Bloober Team will include this Easter Egg so players can witness the Shiba Inu’s madness in glorious 4K.

Leave a Reply